I passed my PMP certification exam on the 18th of Feb 2010 and wanted to share my journey towards PMP so all those PMP aspirants can take away some tips to crack the exam.
It all started in June of 2009 when I was given a software project to manage . Until then i was into offshoring and process improvement projects and was working with the framework that was pre-defined and had to just follow it to achieve the results .
This project was going to break or make my place into my organizations project team. I felt that I needed some formal training in managing project to make it successful. So i thought PMP will be the best option & I started with the classes to understand and learn on how should projects be lead and managed. I realized that there was a paradigm shift and started applying the good practices that I learnt in the classroom into the project. It was working wonders ..well I didn’t use all the processes but i had realized I had more control of the project and it felt good when we were done with the project . So in a way i learnt the PMBOK by using the ITTO’s in real life to check what happens when you use them. Well thats enough with the introduction ..now lets jump straight into the process . To start off I started reading Kim Heldmens study guide which was a e-book but I must say it was wonderfully written and it is designed for anyone thinking of taking PMP exam.Plus I had PMP podcasts to listen to during my commute . I commute 2 hrs everyday and I thought it was the best way to learn.
I finished my classroom training in Jul 09 and planned to take the exam in Nov -09 but it didn’t happen because the work at office took best of me so had to reschedule it to Jan-2010 because every Dec i take the whole month off and thought I would study for the test . Well that didn’t happen as per the plan but i managed to study a little . But I guessed that was not going to get me through the exam. I tried taking a mock and i got a really bad score ..around 50% which was obviously very demotivating . In Mid Jan ‘10 I set myself a deadline as 18th Feb ‘10 and devised a study plan to ensure that i was ready for the exam.The study plan was to finish a chapter each day from Kim Heldmens book.
And the last two weeks before the exam I bought “CERT GEAR” and started taking mock tests to practice for the exam . I used to spend the evenings taking the test and review the answers for incorrect questions . In the mornings I used to wake up at 4:00 am to review PMBOK as i felt that was the best time of the day i had most concentration . By the 17th I was scoring around 65% to 70% on CERT GEAR . Apart from this I finished few tests on skill port, pmstudy and lots of sample tests on the internet.
The day before the exam I read the PMBOK cover to cover and took the final test on CERT GEAR . I scored around 75% and I was confident that i would crack the exam. Next day I went down to pro-metric to give the exam I finished the exam in 3.5 hours and when I clicked end exam – That was it !!
Now a new journey begins and I am going to use my new learnt skills at my work place to become a super star project manager.Thats what I hope and I feel that this is just a start to a long journey into world of project management to learn more through practice and delivering successful and meaningful projects at work.I wish all the aspirants best of luck.